Become a Teacher in New York

New York Highlights

Avg. Elementary Teacher Salary: $80,540
Avg. Secondary Teacher Salary: $83,360
Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics report. 

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 08/11/2018

This page is sponsored by our partner Rossier Online, a master level teaching degree program delivered online that enables you to earn a Master’s degree and teaching credential. Learn more about how the University of Southern California can help you become a transformative teacher in New York.

To become a certified teacher in New York, you will need to fulfill these requirements:

  • Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
  • Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program
  • Step Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit a New York teaching credential application.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating with new information on a regular basis.


Teaching and Learning Strategies for Higher Education online short course by Harvard’s Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

Harvard’s Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

The 8-week Harvard Bok Teaching Certificate online short course is delivered by Harvard’s Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX. Students in this course will engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective teaching methods in the higher education context, while refining their own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy.

Sponsored Program

Step One: Prerequisite Coursework

The first step to getting certified as a teacher is choosing a specialization and/or grade level and earning your bachelor’s degree.

All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. Enrollment in and completion of an approved New York State Teacher Preparation Program will satisfy all credit requirements.

Return to top

Master’s Requirements

Many schools of education now offer online MAT programs that provide increased flexibility by allowing aspiring or working teachers to attend class and complete coursework from any location that has an Internet connection. Online MAT programs are a practical option for students who have professional and personal commitments that make it difficult to obtain teaching certification through a full-time program.

The best online programs offer the same curriculum as the school’s on-campus program and apply the same admission requirements. Providing students with the ability to communicate with instructors and classmates in a face-to-face online environment is another hallmark of a good online program. In addition, candidates in online MAT programs should be provided with the opportunity to complete student teaching fieldwork in the local community.

Learn more about getting your MAT online with USC Rossier School of Education.

Step Two: Teacher Preparation

Next, you’ll need to complete an approved teacher preparation program. Visit the New York State Education Department website to find a state-approved teacher preparation program in New York. Once you have completed your program, have your New York State institution of higher education complete an Institutional Recommendation to verify the completion of an approved program.

Keep in mind that all states require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to become a certified teacher. New York State requires teachers to obtain a master’s degree in teaching (or a related discipline) within five years of the completion of their initial degree.

Typically, teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The curricula often include instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design, and implement learning experiences in their field of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching, and an internship.

While the involvement in an education program may seem financially daunting, a number of financial resources specifically for teachers exist around the country. For more information on this, visit our page on scholarships for teachers. For teacher scholarships specific to the State of New York, visit our New York Teacher Scholarships page.

Alternative Certification

If you’re a graduate of an accredited college or university whose bachelor’s degree was not in education, and have not yet earned a traditional teaching certificate, you can still receive an alternative teaching certificate by satisfying certain requirements per the Office of Teaching Initiatives. Information about alternative certification in New York can be found on the Certification Map New York Alternative Certification page.

Return to top

Step Three: Required Tests

Next, you’ll need to complete the appropriate New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE). This program provides tests to assess potential teaching candidates’ knowledge and skills regarding content, theory, and practice. Testing requirements vary depending on one’s desired certification(s).

Visit the New York State Education Department website for more information on state testing requirements and registration dates.

New York Required Tests
Test Skills/Assessment Certification Requirements

Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST)


Educating All Students (EAS) Test

The Academic Literacy Skills Test consists of selected-response items, two focused constructed-response items, and one extended written assignment. The ALST measures academic literacy skills necessary to teach effectively in New York State public schools.

The edTPA is a student-centered multiple measure assessment of teaching. It is designed to be educative and predicting of effective teaching and student learning.

The Educating All Students test consists of selected-response items and constructed-response items. Each constructed-response item will share scenario-based stimulus material with several selected-response items. The EAS test measures the professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills necessary to teach all students effectively in New York State public schools.

Required for all certifications

Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills (ATS-W)

Measures professional and pedagogical knowledge of Early Childhood (Birth–Grade 2) and Elementary Education (Grades 1–6).

Early Childhood and Elementary Education certifications

Secondary Assessment of Teaching Skills (ATS-W)

Measures professional and pedagogical knowledge of Middle Childhood (Grades 5–9) and Adolescence (Grades 7–12).

Secondary Education certifications

Content Specialty Tests (CSTs)

Measures knowledge and skill in candidate’s field of certification.

Please visit NYSTCE for content-specific requirements

Bilingual Education Assessments (BEAs)

Measure listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills in the targeted language.

Please visit NYSTCE for content-specific requirements

Communication and Quantitative Skills Test (CQST)

Measures knowledge and skills in career and technical education.

Required for Transitional A certificates and initial certificates in Career & Technical Education subjects


Return to top

Step Four: Application Requirements

Finally, submit a completed licensure application to get the show on the road! You can create an account with NYSED’s TEACH System to begin your licensing application. All applicants must submit to fingerprinting.

Make sure you have all your supporting documents. Here’s a complete checklist of things you need to submit along with your license application for first-time applicants, from the New York Office of Teaching Initiatives:

Supporting documentation must contain your identifying information:

  1. Date of birth or a portion of your date of birth
  2. The last four digits of your social security number
  3. Your current name exactly as it is listed in your TEACH account

Supporting documentation includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Original official transcripts of all college study
  2. CLEP, DANTE, ACTFL, or Excelsior exam score reports
  3. Documentation of paid teaching experience that has been requested
  4. Documentation of experience for the Initial Certificate
  5. Copy of teaching certificates from other states
  6. Other information that has been requested

Send all documentation or correspondence to:

New York State Education Department
Office of Teaching Initiatives, Room 5N EB
89 Washington Avenue
Albany NY 12234

Return to top

New York Certification Reciprocity

New York will accept some teaching credentials from all but the following states: Alaska, Iowa, Minnesota. Contact the New York State Education Department to inquire about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

Return to top

New York Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: New York provides loan repayment support for teachers teaching in high-needs schools and in shortage subject areas.
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: New York has strong induction policies in place.
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $80,540
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $83,360
  • District-Specific Teacher Salary: Salaries for New York teachers vary widely, depending on the district. An online database of New York teacher salaries is available, in order to access district-specific information
  • Average Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

Return to top

Certification Resources & Links

Office of Teaching Initiatives
89 Washington Avenue, FN EB
Albany, New York 12234
518-474-3901 – Email the New York State Department of Education

Return to top

USC Rossier School of Education

Earn your Master’s or EdD online at the Top-Ranked USC Rossier School of Education

  • Live, weekly classes
  • Networking Opportunities
  • An on-campus immersion
  • 24/7 student support services

Sponsored Program